National Numeracy Learning Progression

Please select one element to view the content
Please select one sub-element to view the content

Positioning and locating description

This sub-element describes how a student becomes increasingly able to recognise the attributes of position and location, and to use positional language to describe himself/herself and objects in various locations. A student learns to reason with representations of shapes and objects regarding position and location, and to visualise and orientate objects to solve problems in spatial contexts, such as navigating. The use of scales on maps is an application of proportional reasoning.

Some students will communicate using augmentative and alternative communication strategies to demonstrate their numeracy skills. This may include digital technologies, sign language, braille, real objects, photographs and pictographs.

Each sub-element level has been identified by upper-case initials and in some cases lower-case letters of the sub-element name followed by ascending numbers. The abbreviation for this sub-element is PoL. The listing of indicators within each level is non-hierarchical. Subheadings have been included to group related indicators. Where appropriate, examples have been provided in brackets following an indicator.


Position to self

  • locates positions in the classroom relevant to self (hangs bag on own hook, puts materials in own tray)
  • orients self to obtain a desired object
  • follows simple instructions using positional language (stand up, sit down, put your lunch box in your bag)


Position to other

  • uses positional terms with reference to themselves (left and right)
  • interprets a simple diagram or picture to describe the position of an object (the house is between the river and the school)
  • gives and follows directions from one place to another


Using an informal map

  • draws an informal map or sketch to provide directions
  • locates positions on an informal map
  • orients an informal map using recognisable landmarks and current location
  • locates self on an informal map to select an appropriate path to a given location


Using formal maps and plans

  • locates position on maps using grid references
  • identifies features on maps and plans
  • describes routes using landmarks and directional language


Interpreting maps and plans

  • interprets the scale as a ratio used to create plans, drawings or maps
  • interprets plans involving scale
  • uses compass directions, latitude and longitude to locate position